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Surround sound


Colby
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Hi

I am looking for a way to be able to present a lighshow in surround sound.

I have seen USB audio adapters on the internet, that give you THREE stereo audio outs, so SIX channels... I don't know much else about them...

How can I create a six-channel mp3 file? I have Soundtrack, which can export a mix into whatever amount of tracks you have, so I can make 6 different audio files, but how do I make them into one file with six channels?

Of course, if I can only do it with five, or four or something, that also works. I am just saying six since one of the USB audio adapters I saw can do six.

Also, once I have the audio file, can LOR load it, and play it with all the surround sound channels?

Thanks much.

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Just thought of this: could I do a sequence-in-sequence thing? Two sequences playing inside a main sequence (the two subsequences only having audio), would that work?

Wait, but that would make it back into just stereo, wouldn't it...?

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Windows Media Player 10 does support 5.1 surround using the WMA 10 Pro codec. You can download a few sample files from here: http://www.lynnemusic.com/surround.html
I downloaded one and it created a new LOR sequence and it played fine. As you stated in your initial post, you will need a sound card that supports 5.1 surround sound. Most of the USB adapters I've seen only support this through the digital output - either SPIDF or coax. As long as your receiver has surround capablities and digital inputs, you should be fine.
Now as far as creating these files, from the limited searching I've done it will probably require a more advanced audio editor like Sony SoundForge 9 (~$250) or Adobe Audition (~$350). I'm sure there are others, these are two that came to mind. Another option may be to use a video editor like Vegas Movie Studio Platinum which supports 5.1 audio. I'm just not sure it will allow you to create a wma 10 pro output file containg only audio. I'm going to download the trial and give it a try on one of my test machines later tonight.


Mark

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Mark Steele wrote:

...you will need a sound card that supports 5.1 surround sound. Most of the USB adapters I've seen only support this through the digital output - either SPIDF or coax. As long as your receiver has surround capablities and digital inputs, you should be fine.


I'm not an expert at all, so thanks for the help and hopefully I can explain this stuff well.

http://www.fxsound.com/dfxadapter/index.php?vendor=1&subvendor=0&plus=0&refer=0
To me, it looks like you can plug that in to USB and get three 1/8" cords out of it, all with stereo, so six channels. As unprofessional as this would be, couldn't I hook each of those three cords into a separate receiver, then two speakers would come out of each receiver, for a six-channel surround effect?
Now if I used that, I would need to know if LOR can work with that thing to get six channels through.


Since I already have two or three receivers I can use, would it be better (price, quality, safety, durability...) to get a new receiver with SPIDF, Coax, then buy the adapter with that, or to use the adapter above and use three receivers (If that would even work with LOR)?
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Colby wrote:

http://www.fxsound.com/dfxadapter/index.php?vendor=1&subvendor=0&plus=0&refer=0
To me, it looks like you can plug that in to USB and get three 1/8" cords out of it, all with stereo, so six channels. As unprofessional as this would be, couldn't I hook each of those three cords into a separate receiver, then two speakers would come out of each receiver, for a six-channel surround effect?
Now if I used that, I would need to know if LOR can work with that thing to get six channels through.


Since I already have two or three receivers I can use, would it be better (price, quality, safety, durability...) to get a new receiver with SPIDF, Coax, then buy the adapter with that, or to use the adapter above and use three receivers (If that would even work with LOR)?

LOR doesn't care what your audio hardware is. As long as Windows Media Player can play the file (assuming it is supported by LOR) and you can hear it through you sound card, it should be fine.
As far as the receivers, your plan should work - especially if you already have them lying around. Another option would be to look for an open-box or clearance model 5.1 receiver at Circuit City or Best Buy or a used one locally from something like craigslist. I'm sure you could find something for around $100. I'm not sure what kind of sound field you are trying to set up. Typical surround sound is 5.1 channels where the 5 channels are left, center, right, right rear and left rear and the '.1' is the LFE or subwoofer. Do you have something different in mind for your layout?

Also, I played around with the Vegas Movie Studio Platinum and I was able to create a surround wma file. So this is one of the more economical editors (~ $120) that will work for your needs. You can download the trial here and experiment with it:
http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/download/step2.asp?DID=734


Mark
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yellowstang73

I ran a stereo cord from my pc (in my basement) out to the yard. I then made a homemade splitter and ran one side to my fm transmitter, the other side I ran to a cheap surround sound unit that came from target $39. This surround sound unit had inputs for pc, and 2 sets of rca jacks, and a remote control. I hid the subwoofer under santas sleigh and put the 5 small speakers in various places around the yard. The sound was fantastic! I kept the pc volume at about 40% this gave the fm transmitter great sound, then controlled the volume of the surround to be as loud as I wanted it.
My front yard is 2 1/2 acres and you could hear the music great from anywhere around the yard. The surround sound unit was cheap enough that i didn't worry about it going out due to bad weather. And it survived the holidays in great shape .

Coming from target if you are not sattisfied with the quality of the sound, just return it for a full refund.
Also the lor unit does not know whats going on with the sound. The sound is sent to the speakers only.

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I'm not sure if Colby is looking for a pseudo-surround sound effect which is what you are describing, or the ability to create his own audio files that contain deliberate sound field placement like those used in movie soundtracks. If this isn't needed, then the inexpensive home theatre in-a-box would be the easiest solution. That's why I asked about the physical layout and recordings that are going to be used.


Mark

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I am looking for a way to do actual surround sound with more than two channels, not a huge area of sound.

I think for me, the three receivers idea seems best. One of them would do Left and Right, in front of the house, another would do the far Left side of the yard and the far Right side of the yard, and the third receiver would do Left and Right behind where people stand (My show isn't like most where cars drive by with their radio on, but people come and get out and wait for the next scheduled show). The two main front-of-the-house channels will be used the whole time to play the music, while the other four are for small things, some sound effects, and big surround-sounding musical sections.

The other option being new receiver, new kind of audio cable (PC to receiver), 5.1 instead of 6 channels, a little less safety (since there is one power source for the speakers instead of three), more to learn, and probably a more expensive USB adapter, I think I'll do the three receiver thing.

The Sony program says it can edit 5.1 channel surround... It doesn't give you a separate subwoofer channel, does it? I need to edit in SIX channels for my setup, instead of 5.1.... hmmm...

It's a good thing I still have like 7 months to have this ready... Hopefully soon I'll buy some stuff and see if it works! Thanks very much.

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